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David Park | Figurative Expressionist painter

American painter David Park (1911-1960) was a pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative School of painting during the 1950s.
David Park was part of the post-World War II alumnae of the San Francisco Art Institute which was called the California School of Fine Arts at the time.
He revived an interest in figurative art, at first experimenting with still-abstracted forms that relied on color for their impact, dynamics and warmth.

Park, along with Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff, broke away from the philosophy of painting promoted by Clyfford Still, who taught at the Institute, forming what would later be called the Bay Area Figurative Movement.
Their influence may be seen in the work of later Bay Area Figurative School artists such as Paul John Wonner, Nathan Oliveira, Manuel Neri, Henry Villierme and Joan Brown.
Although these painters started out painting in what was called an objective style, deploying abstract shapes in large space, they soon migrated to using the physical world and representative subjects to experiment with shape, color, texture and temperature in their painting.

Park realized that concentrating on principle and abstraction drew attention to the painter rather than the painting.
He felt that it was important to focus on the present, to develop responses to nature. "I believe that we are living at a time that overemphasizes the need of newness, of furthering concepts".
David worked with figurative painting from about 1950 until about 1959 when he became ill with cancer.
Usually working from memory, he initially painted what he saw: kids playing in the street, musicians, his friends, people in their houses.
Toward the end of the decade he painted classical studio figures and bathers in a monumental style. After he become too ill to work with oils, he continued working with watercolors which he produced until his early death in 1960.
He had a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, 1988-1989.

- The Bay Area Figurative Movement was a mid-20th Century art movement made up of a group of artists in the San Francisco Bay Area who abandoned working in the prevailing style of Abstract Expressionism in favor of a return to figuration in painting during the 1950s and onward into the 1960s.

David Park fu un pittore Americano ed un pioniere del movimento Figurativo della Bay Area nella pittura durante gli anni '50.
Nato il 17 marzo 1911 a Boston, MA, ha continuato a studiare all'Otis Art Institute di Los Angeles prima di trasferirsi nella Bay Area dove ha insegnato al San Francisco Art Institute. Park ed i suoi coetanei sono stati ispirati dall'avvento dell'espressionismo astratto a New York e dopo essersi impegnati con lo stesso stile, hanno portato la stessa energia e gli stessi elementi pittorici a rappresentare figure, paesaggi e nature morte.
Nel 1959, l'artista ha smesso di lavorare dopo che gli è stata diagnosticata una forma aggressiva di cancro.
Park è morto il 20 settembre 1960 a Berkeley, in California.
Oggi, le sue opere sono conservate nelle collezioni del Museum of Modern Art di San Francisco, dello Smithsonian American Art Museum Washington DC, del Los Angeles County Museum of Art e del Whitney Museum of American Art.